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Protests: a persistent feature in Montreal

One year ago, the Canadian GP was marred by student protests, complete with riot police and tear gas. This year it's F1's own protesting.
Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8th, 2013 (F1plus/Ernie Black).- Yesterday, in the FIA team principals press conference, as expected the entire session revolved around the Pirelli tyre test. The topic that refuses to go away due to protests lodged by Mercedes rivals.

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The atmosphere was extremely tense. Christian Horner was visibly disturbed. Paul Hembery was not present on advice from his legal council. Oddly, the man one would image to be the most stressed seemed quite calm. Mercedes AMG man Ross Brawn sat directly in front of me on the panel and seemed as though he was just patiently waiting for a bus. Unmoved by the some of the questions from the floor or the comments of his rivals.

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The primary complaint seemed to be the lack of transparency. Christian Horner from Red Bull believes that regardless of what is said, Mercedes must have gained some knowledge. As Christian and Red Bull lodged the protest, I thought I would include his quote from yesterday's session.

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Christian Horner: I think that whenever you run the car… when you’re not allowed to test, when you have limited mileage, when the rules are written as they are, when you run a current car of course… for the way that Formula One is, with the way that the amount of technology and with the amount of data analysis there is, you’re always learning. Whether it be reliability, whether it be endurance, whether it be performance. So, of course… even if you’re testing a component for a supplier, you’re learning. I think Formula One has moved an awfully long way over the last few years to ensure fairness and equality to all of the entrants. I think that if a team does carry out 1000km of additional testing with a current car, you’re going to learn something.

Ross Brawn's response to most questions was a very calm, " - and so the Tribunal will be the time at which all the information will become available."

Other items from yesterday's conference that I found noteworthy were that all those present believe in-season testing would be beneficial and welcome, though it would have to come with cost savings in some other area.

Brawn wanted to make it very clear that it was not a "Secret Test" but rather a "Private Test" and that it was Pirelli's test and not Mercedes.

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